Most artists struggle to master one genre. Since the late 1960s, Steve Gadd’s been consistently tackling them all. Gadd is a professional drummer, perhaps one of the world’s most well-renowned players of the instrument. He’s appeared on albums with Joe Cocker, Paul Simon, Paul McCartney Kate Bush and hundreds of other popular and critically-acclaimed artists of various styles and ages.
Most recently, he wrapped up a worldwide tour with Eric Clapton. Gadd was not just a random hired hand on that tour— the drummer has appeared on at least seven of the guitarist’s albums, including Back Home, Sessions for Robert Johnson, Pilgrim, One More Care One More Rider, Reptile, Riding With The King (with BB King), and Clapton Chronicles: The Best of Eric Clapton. The tour recently finished its run in Tokyo, Japan. That particular show was dedicated to Clapton’s keyboard player Dick Sims, who passed away last week.
As if traveling the world with one of the world’s most legendary guitarists wasn’t exhausting enough, Steve Gadd is jumping straight into another string of performances— this time with his side project L’Image. That project began in the 1970s and included fellow studio musicians Mike Mainieri, Warren Bernhardt and Tony Levin. The group disbanded shortly after their formation, but reunited for a string of dates in 2009. Beginning tonight and lasting through the weekend, the band will preform six times (with two shows per night on Friday, Saturday and Sunday) at The Iridium in New York City. Tickets are still available.
While many studio and session musicians blend into the background of various bands, Gadd has managed to make a name for himself. He’s even got a few solo albums, notably 2010’s Live At Voce (Deluxe Edition).
That album is the first official release from a specific lineup that’s been touring and performing fairly regularly for the past few years. Incredible musicians Joey DeFrancesco, Ronnie Cuber and Paul Bollenback play along with Gadd’s frantic yet precise drums on the jazz album. For proof, click to listen to “Undecided,” one of the album’s strongest uptempo tracks. There are plenty of drum solos on Live At Voce that show off Gadd’s skill. Take, for instance, the second half of “Them Changes,” which features an a transition from a jazzy groove to a solo of almost incomprehensible quality. Click here to listen to that track on Earbits Radio.